Thursday, 4 May 2017

Coding and Decoding I- Reasoning Tricks for Decoding Codes in IBPS PO and SSC CGL

Reasoning Tricks that help you in decoding codes can fetch you marks in less time in all Bank and SSC Exams. Read on as we decode the different kinds of codes and how to solve questions based on them.
Reasoning Tricks
Coding and Decoding is an integral topic in Reasoning Section of all competitive exams where usually 3 to 8 questions are asked from this topic. However, solving these questions without some reasoning tricks can be very difficult and time taking. It is therefore advisable, that you get some reasoning tricks up your sleeves that help you to solve questions in least amount of time.
In this post we will not only discuss- what is coding and decoding, different ways in which coding and decoding is done, reasoning tricks that will help you identify the codes and finally practice questions to use the reasoning tricks discussed. 
Reasoning Tricks

Introduction to Reasoning Tricks- What is Coding and Decoding?

Coding and Decoding basically means sending out information in a coded manner to someone so that the people involved in transferring this information are not able to understand it. However, the person to whom the information is transferred is able to decode it using some reasoning tricks. This method of transferring information was extremely popular during both the World Wars and till much later, till technology finally took over use of these reasoning tricks.

Understanding Different Kind of Reasoning Tricks- Decoding the Codes

There are infinite reasoning tricks that are use to write codes, which means you can get various kinds of questions based on coding and decoding. We shall discuss some very popular reasoning tricks that will help you decipher codes and solve questions based on it.
The image below shows how different reasoning tricks have been used to write codes for the word – “BANK”. Let’s now decode these codes and learn some reasoning tricks while doing the same.
Reasoning Tricks

Reasoning Tricks 1: Symbol based Coding

When codes are written using symbols, in that case each symbol represents a letter in the word that has been coded. Like in this case,
Reasoning Tricks
B = @
A = #
N = $
K = %
So once we find the codes for each of these symbols, we can find the code for any word.

 Reasoning Tricks 2: Shifting the Position Forward
In this form of codes, every letter in the word is represented by another letter. From the code below you can observe-
Reasoning Tricks
B = C
A = B
N = O
K = L
The logic behind this kind of coding is shifting of letters; in this case letters have been shifted in the forward direction. The letter which comes after ‘B’ is ‘C’, the letter which comes after ‘A’ is ‘B’ and so on. So each letter has been shifted by +1 in the alphabetical order. In a similar manner, letters can be shifted forward by 2, 3 or even more positions.   

Reasoning Tricks 3: Shifting the Position Backward

When codes are written like this, every letter is once again represented by another letter. From this code we know-
Reasoning Tricks
B = A
A = Z
N = M
K = J
This coded form is very similar to the previous one, because once again shift of positions has happened; only this time letters have been shifted backwards. We know as per alphabetical order ‘A’ comes before ‘B’,  ‘Z’ comes before ‘A’ and so on, for the remaining part of the word. As you see, each letter has seen a shift of -1 in its position in the code. Similarly, while using reasoning tricks like this, letters can be shifted backwards any number of positions.  

 Reasoning Tricks 4: Alternate Shifting Form

Codes are often written in a manner to confuse you and throw you off guard. This coding decoding example is a clear example of this -
Reasoning Tricks
B = A
A = B
N = M
K = L
Once again positions of letters have been changed in codes, but they are a mixture of forward and backward positions. You will notice ‘B’ is replaced by ‘A’ and A comes before B. On the other hand, ‘A’ is replaced by ‘B’, and B comes after A. So, the first letter has been moved backwards while the second letter has been moved forward. Similarly, for the 3rd and 4th letters, ‘N’ is replaced by ‘M’ which is one ahead and ‘K’ is replaced by ‘L’ which is one backwards. Therefore positions of letters are shifted alternately in this method of coding and decoding and this shift can be of any number of units.

Reasoning Tricks 5: Position Based Increase

The way to code that we will discuss now, may look a little complicated, but once you crack the reasoning tricks behind it, it becomes really simple!
Reasoning Tricks
B = C
A = C
N = Q
K = O
Now notice carefully, ‘B’ is moved ahead by +1 since it comes ‘C’, ‘A’ is moved ahead by +2 as it becomes ‘C’, ‘N’ is moved ahead by +3 and it comes ‘Q’ and finally ‘K’ becomes ‘O’ as it is moved ahead by +4. S if you notice, each alphabet has moved ahead in the code by the number of positions, depending on its position in the word that has been coded. Therefore, the increase with every position can vary in patterns too.  

Reasoning Tricks 6: Numeric Position in Alphabetical Order

You don’t need to get sacred every time you see a word coded in numbers because these reasoning tricks used in coding and decoding is really simple. The number denotes the position of the letter in the alphabetical order.
Reasoning Tricks
B = 2
A = 1
N = 14
K = 11
We know ‘B’ comes 2nd in the series of alphabets, ‘A’ comes 1st, ‘N’ comes at the 14th position and ‘K’ comes at the 11th position. All these numbers are simply written in the same order and this code is achieved. Similarly, any word can be coded by just writing its numeric position in the alphabetical order. To get hold of such reasoning tricks, it is almost mandatory that you learn the numeric positions of alphabets in the alphabetical order.

Reasoning Tricks 7: Numeric Positions in Reverse Alphabetical Order

The logic behind this is really simple! As the name suggests the numbers suggest the position of the letters, but only in the reverse order. So as per this method of coding and decoding, ‘Z’ becomes 1 and ‘A’ becomes 26.
Reasoning Tricks
B = 25
A = 26
N = 13
K = 16
So if we know the positions of letters in alphabetical order, it becomes easy to find their position in the reverse order. When discussing the topic of ‘Ranking’, in Reasoning Ability we discussed that when we know the position of one element from one end, we can easily find the position of the element from the other end too by using a simple formula-
Reasoning Tricks
T = Total Number of Elements, P = Position from the given End
This formula can also be used to find the position of the letters in the reverse order. Let’s start with the letter ‘A’ and see how this formula simplifies reasoning tricks for us-
A’ = Position of A in the reverse order, using the formula we get –
A’ = 26 - 1 + 1
A’ = 26
Similarly we can try for B’ , C’ and any other alphabet.
B’ = 26 - 2 + 1 = 25
C’ = 26 – 3+ 1 = 24
By using this formula for the letters ‘N’ and ‘K’, we get the code- 25261316

Reasoning Tricks 8: Reverse Alphabetical Order

The logic for this code is very similar to the previous one. As the name implies, the letters in the code are those letters which are at the same numeric position when the reverse alphabetical order is taken.
Reasoning Tricks
B = Y
A = Z
N = M
K = P
So as per this method of coding and decoding, ‘B’ comes at the 25th position and therefore it becomes ‘Y’, ‘A’ comes at the 26th position and therefore it becomes ‘Z’, similarly ‘N’ becomes ‘M’ and ‘K’ becomes ‘P’.

Reasoning Tricks 9: Sum of Positions

This kind of coding is very interesting, the 4 letter word a reduced to a 2 digit number. It is actually the sum of positions of the letters in alphabetical order.
Reasoning Tricks
B = 2
A = 1
N = 14
K = 11
Adding the numeric positions of these alphabets, we get
2 + 1 + 14 + 11 = 28
Similarly, any word can be coded by summing up the position of the letters in the word.

Reasoning Tricks 10: Product of Positions

This method of coding is not very different from the previous method of coding because this also deals with the positions of letters in the alphabetical order.
Reasoning Tricks
B = 2
A = 1
N = 14
K = 11
Multiplying the numbers that denote the positions of the letters, we get –
2 x 1 x 14 x 11 = 308
In a similar manner, any word can be coded by taking the product of its position.

 Reasoning Tricks 11: Average of Positions

This unique method of coding again uses a mathematical operation, and the operation used here is- Average. An average is taken of the positions of the letters in the word.
Reasoning Tricks
B = 2
A = 1
N = 14
K = 11
We know average is equal distribution of elements, so we can calculate the average –
(2 + 1 + 14 + 11) / 4 = 28/4 = 7
Taking an average of the positions of the letters in the word is another way to code it.

Use Reasoning Tricks for Solving these Coding and Decoding Problems

Question 1: In a certain code BOARD is written as CNBQE. How is CRIME written in that code?
1) DSJNF      2) BQHLD      3) DQJLF      4) BSHND      5) None of these

Question 2: In a certain code KNIFE is written as $3%#5 and LAKE is written as 7@$5. How is FAIL written in that code?
1) %$#7      2) #@%7      3) $@%7      4) $%@7      5) None of these

Question 3: In a certain code language ‘CAT’ is written as ‘3120’ and ‘DOG’ is written as ‘4157’. What will be the decoded form of ‘25144’?
1) BEND      2) BEADD      3) YADD or YND      4) Cannot be determined      5) None of these

Remember to write your answers in the comments section!


Keep practicing, because the more you practice, the better you’ll get with identifying and using reasoning tricks!
Reasoning Tricks

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